5 Things You Never Knew About Real Estate
For those of us who aren’t passionate about the real estate industry and property management, when they think about this business, they probably think about stressful bank statements, grumpy landlords, dishonest real estate agents, or some other negative stereotype. Many people are drastically misinformed about exactly how real estate works, since it’s not a class that is taught in primary or even secondary schools, only some university or college-level classes that students are not required to take. This leaves many people scrambling to learn more about real estate at the very last minute – that is, only when it applies to them or a close family member. With that being said, here are 10 cool things you probably didn’t know about real estate before, whether you’re an aspiring realtor yourself, a renter looking for some tips, or a homeowner trying to sell your house.
1. Most realtors operate on commission. Many real estate agents work independently, and even if they are part of a larger agency or firm, it’s not likely that they’re paid a “normal” salary like other jobs or can even depend on bonuses or promotions. In fact, most agents technically lose money if they don’t successfully close a deal, because they will have invested time and energy in a lost cause. As a potential buyer, renter, or anyone looking to hire a realtor, you might fear this means your real estate agent will charge you an outrageous amount of money. While there are bad eggs out there, the vast majority of realtors understand the stress that families go through while sorting out their property. Real estate agents want to help you! When you get a good deal, they make money too. A realtor is just as excited as you are at the prospect of closing on a good deal.
2. The term “real estate agent” can be misleading. You might not be too surprised to hear the specifics, but this isn’t something that you’re likely to think of on your own: there are many, many different kinds of real estate agents. It’s highly uncommon for a real estate agent to be a sort of jack-of-all-trades; rather, there are specific agents to represent sellers, buyers, managers of commercial property, and more. A “dual agent,” sometimes called a “transaction broker,” representing both the seller and the buyer. If you’re unsure who to hire, do some research first! Depending on your situation and your unique role in the process, it’s important to study up before you make a decision.
3. Private property has deep roots in the American constitution. Okay, so this one isn’t necessarily about present-day real estate, but it’s interesting, even if you’re not a history buff! You’ve probably heard the phrase “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” an iconic phrase coined by the authors of the Declaration of Independence back in 1776. That phrase was inspired by early political theorist John Locke, whose so-called catchphrase was “life, liberty, and property.” The edit was made at the last minute, rumored to be done by Thomas Jefferson himself, to make the phrase more general. Don’t fret, this doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to your property – if you’re curious, you can look up the 5th Amendment, under which no private property may be “taken for public use without just compensation.”
4. Luxury real estate is not that different from the typical market, but the differences that do exist are extremely interesting. Many high-net worth individuals can afford the most aggressive realtors, but the market is not necessarily more competitive than the typical real estate market in America. The priorities of these individuals are curious to note – some love to live in the heart of the hustle and bustle of the city, while others prefer to live somewhere more private and secluded. Additionally, there is a recent trend with younger celebrities and other wealthy individuals looking to buy the newest, biggest homes, while most older celebrities and retirees are actually intending to downsize their home.
5. Curb appeal has real, psychological effects! If you don’t have much experience in this market, that’s okay – but if you’ve been here for a little while, you probably have heard the phrase “curb appeal.” This refers to the outside of the home. During any showing, it’s important that the entire house is as clean and pleasing to look at as possible, but the exterior of the home will have more of an effect on potential buyers or renters than you think. That’s not to say the interior of the home is not important – of course it is, but the fact is, decorating the inside of the house according to personal taste is much easier than changing up the look of the exterior. When viewers look at the outside of a home, they are looking at a view that will potentially become extremely familiar to them, the first welcoming image after a long day at work, so it’s important to keep it in tip-top shape.